* Note from Curt...

I must tell you that the greatest rewards from this little saga have been the wonderful folks that have responded. Friends that have resurfaced, folks I've not seen in decades and so many folks that I had never known. The common bond of that era and that fantastic area is truly amazing.


If you too are from the southside of Chicago, grew up in this era, or would like to be taken back to the era of the 1940s and 50s...these reviews are worth a read in addition to the book itself...Michelle Gérant, Marketing Manager


“Curt Erler - I have to tell you how great the Southside Kid book is. My husband, Bill Pyle, is from 83rd and Dorchester.
He has Alzheimer's but your book has brought so many great memories back for him. Your ability to bring your words to life is truly a gift.
Thank you for sharing it with us. - Sheri Pyle”


“What a beautiful tribute. I have read 3 of your books Curt and find you an awesome writer, putting the reader right in the middle of the story.

While I didn't grow up in Chicago we lived there for 32 years and love learning more about the whole area. - Betsy Harper”



Curt: I walked those streets. I know those parks and parishes. My stepdad grew up at 63rd and Blackstone. My dad had a house at 79th. and Constance. I've been to Riley's Trick Shop. Your book helped me remember the way we used to be. I thoroughly enjoyed it. You have a gift of capturing a moment in time. I had friends and relatives like yours. It brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart.

Thanks for sharing.

Larry Himmel (CBS News)


I am reading your book that I got for Christmas...We are the same age so everything in there is just so familar and the way we lived...So many memories..Bubbles the bakery Avalon Pizza..Big time Sears everyone went to Sears...Avalon went there every Saturaday or Sunday...Thanks for bringing back so many memories...I would love to do it all over again...

Sharon Francisco


Hi Curt,

I had a wonderful time reading your tales of a Southside Kid. Jam packed with adventure and friendships shared. I think It would make a good movie too.

I'm in my 70s, and grew up on Chicago's northwest side, with two older brothers when you did. It was fun to remember early years of penny candies and bicycles. Neighbors who knew each other by name...Your love of baseball and music and cars reveals the social groups you gravitated to outside your immediate family. My brothers did the same.

I think you were an extraordinary kid , with extraordinary talents that led you to who you have become. Your artist sensitivities for writing and music are like a Bridge Over Troubled Waters, to us enjoying your books.

P.S. I was horrified at the part when you darted under the semi-truck , stopped for the red-light,..(We never thought of that one, ha-ha ) I purchased Your latest book from Amazon and will start that one soon...All Best Wishes to you for your Jan. 30th Birthday.

Laurie Sonju


For my Italian buddies >>>http://www.libreriauniversitaria.it/southsi…/…/9781419643521

They're lovin' my books in ITALY!!!!


"Hi Curt,
I am from the class of 1954 and I believe that I remember your name. I had a friend in your class Ralph Meyers. I haven't read your book but it will be on my list. If you have depicted the neighborhood right then it will be a gem. Do you remember the brick house on 82nd street a few blocks from Avalon Park School? It had a high brick wall around the house. The family there were the Girvings. For some reason that sticks in my head. I was known as the fastes runner around. I won city championship for 11 year olds. Well just thought I'd drop a line. - Jerry Golem from Southside of Chicago 80th & Woodlawn" 


Hey Curt:

I just finished Southside Kid and wanted to thank you for the fantastic read. I grew up on the north side, during the 1950's-'70's, yet so many of your memories mapped to my own. It was like walking back through time. The introduction of your dad's photography studio/store and your entire family were wonderfully written, and your descriptions of the surrounding neighborhood (and other 'hoods) were like a movie reel of my own experiences. Like you, I was a baseball nut who was always riding my bike around the neighborhood looking for the next game.
The only difference, I think, is wow...you sure got in a lot more fist fights than me! I enjoyed taking the punches vicariously, also enjoyed how, back then, the winner would often help the loser get up, dust off and go get a fountain drink!

I really liked the description of your trip down to Alabama with George W. Temple, the African American gentleman whom you accompanied.
That was at a time when such trips were rare indeed, and I loved reading about your firsthand experiences along the road. Also loved reading about those nights in Chicago's many small jazz, blues and R&B clubs.
I loved seeing the emerging greats of their day up close and personal. The music that you describe all throughout the entire book was fantastic and turned me on to a long list of rock, jazz, blues and R&B greats from the generation before mine, that I now want to check out on Youtube. All in all, an outstanding read that described a very special place and time.
It recaptured a million of my own memories, plus gave me yours; very well done, sir!

Ray Gehring


"Great book--Played a lot of baseball at Grand Crossing & Av park. Went to 87th Street speed way a lot, We may have crossed paths at one time. It was a great time and place to grow up and you nailed it with this book. I lived about 3 blocks from the trick shop and the Rhodes theater. Thank You for the great read--David Barg from Chicago...Grew up at 76th & Rhodes Ave." 


"You have to get this book it reads like a movie script...keep it up Curt!" - Vinnie & Sue, UK 


"Hi Curt,
I enjoyed reading your book and laughing at the tale you presented on
the Southside of Chicago. I was born in August 1939 and raised about 3
miles from your turf and fun places. We probably crossed paths since many
of your examples were in my daily routine. My parks were Trumbull,
Bessemer, and Calumet. Rainbow Beach was the spot for "chicks". As I
remember my success rate of even talking to a girl was pathetic. I
couldn't put an intelligent sentence together. I find that Chicago guys
match up with parks and schools. Bowen High School was my educational
base as a teenager.

Going to the Avalon on 79th was a big treat for my gang. It was outside
our territory but we loved the show.

I just wanted to thank you for painting a clear, fun, and nice picture of
your early years on the Southside. I wouldn't trade my first 22 years
roaming , laughing, and playing on the Southside. There is nothing like
this part of Chicago or the world.

Jack Ivancevich
South Chicago



Please feel free to post any of my comments you want to use. I bought
6 copies of your book and sent them to my siblings.

I heard about your book from a Mt. Carmel guy who sent out a note to
look for the book.

I write academic textbooks( Google--- John M. Ivancevich) so I enjoy
reading less dense and more fun books like your product.

Jack Ivancevich" 


"The days of our growing up along Stony Island in the 8000 to 8600 blocks in the late 40s and early to mid 50s were wonderful, carefree and creatively super times. The steel mills were belllching out all the colors of the rainbow in blast furnace operations 24 seven 24 months of the year. Dodging the cars of Stony's 3 lanes each way to get to school as third graders made us ready for most every thing a kid our age had to handle except for grades, prayers, eating, work around the house or trying to catch the street car. But who cared about those things anyway when we could play 16 inch softball, ice skate, ice hockey, touch football and roller skate on the new smooth concrete streets, playing 'sewer to sewer' on 86th Place or St. Felicitas's school playground. Good job, Curt, you got it all." 

Bob Keeley, Chicago 


(The following review comes from the most popular cabaret singer of our time; Andrea Marcovicci)

"Hello . . .. I was just made aware of your book which will soon be on its way . . . . thank you in advance . . . I look forward to reading it with great pleasure and it was so kind of you to include me . . . . I marvel at anyone who has the patience and fortitude it takes to sit down and actually write a book . . . it takes everything I have in me each time i create one of my shows . . . but a book! Well, that's the real thing! So congratulations and may you have great success with it.
I love Chicago and will share it with my accompanist who comes from there.
Andrea Marcovicci" 


"Hi Curt,
Here is my take on your book:
Southside Kid is a wonderful, warm and delightful book of nostalgia on the back streets of Chicago. From someone who has never been to Chicago it gave me a beautiful picture of the community Curt lived in and much of it criss crossed my own humble upbringing in a small community in Western Massachusetts. A great read and highly recommended for all ages to trace their own background. I'm proud to say I'm a friend." Len Desautels- Retired Schoolteacher in Plymouth, Massachusetts


"Hi Curt;
You've got a wonderful book. Enjoyed reading it. Really liked all the pictures. You may have been a kool cat, but I would say also a very lucky one. You sure have used a bunch of your cat nine lives.
Bet you wish you still had the T-bird. I know I would.
Liked the Luther bits too.
Good luck, Rick"


"A nice story and so compelling. I feel that I now know all of the folks that you talked about in this easy-going little story.
I'm quite sure that I'll be flipping through these pages again and again. I miss those days so much. THANKS!" - anonymous reader 


"Hard to believe that any writing could transport me back to those glorious days of good friends and 'easy times'.
Your book, "Southside Kid" will become an important part of our family library.
Thanks for the opportunity to meet you and your neat family and friends.
I would welcome hearing more about our part of this world. What a place it was!" - anonymous Chicago reader


"With no previous knowledge of Chicago's southside, I feel that I must have lived there in a previous life.
Your description of the era and your childhood home are simply wonderful. I shall pass this book on to other members of my family.
Merci ... it was such a lovely story." - anonymous, France 


"Southside Kid, a fast read, I couldn't put it down. A most enjoyable stroll down memory lane. The best part was my new recollection of so many things that were buried away in my subconscious. Just so delightful, well written, interesting from cover to cover. It gives me a desire to go back and visit the old neighborhood. Days long forgotten have been rekindled and enjoyed once more. What a blessing it has been for me. I may even read it a second time and try to capture more memories." 

Alyce Steffens Kurecki from Venice, Florida 


>>> And this, from one of the nicest guys I NEVER met in Germany

"Well Curt, I´m no critic and to me it was just a great experience to read about your life and also to been grabbed by the neck by you and get drawn in the days of my own childhood when I read it. I think therefore that I completely understand everything may I have to read it once more because my vocabulary ain't that huge.

The point is that everyone who isn´t a totally retarded dumbwad that reads your book will at least be remembered of his own life and reflect it. This is the biggest gift that you make to the reader I think. I also can imagine pretty good what the southside must have been like back in those days. You described everything very lively and in a way that made it possible to me taking a view through your eyes to see the steam on the street after a summer´s rain, to listen to exactly all those noises from your surrounding streets and houses in a way that I wished I also could have the ability to smell it, (each place has it´s own smell which you must smell for yourself before you can know it while it´s a bit different with noises which are easier to imagine to me)

The hair of Peggy Sue or the taste of the different candy bars from Julie's.

I was simply impressed by your exciting book and rich and full life. It´s simply your life and it seems that your mum & dad, bro´s and sis were a very good family that gave you the power and strength to face life until today. With all that it brings.

I wondered a bit that you remember everything that well and clean to tell about all things that happened so exactly.

Nice to hear that you found an ole buddy still alive." 

Marc in Hamburg, Germany


"Curt: I just finished your book and want to thank you for your efforts; the book brings back all kinds of memories of growing up in Avalon Park! I was born in ---- and lived in Avalon until we moved to Beverly in ---- I went to Avalon Park and CVS. An old friend of mine, who I recently renewed acquaintance with; ---- ---- put me on to your book. I remember you, the '49 Merc and the Thunderbird. I remember getting all my films developed by Cash Erler; I just wish I still had as many as you have.

One day we built a tree house in your tree on Stony Island. A few days later it was destroyed. ---- having just gotten a finger-print kit
invited us over to his house for Cokes. He was going to take our
finger prints off the glasses and compare them to finger-prints found at the tree house to see if we were guilty of the destruction, perhaps he should of invited the Erler boys over!

The other thing we liked to do was to build dugout forts in vacant lots. We had them between 82nd and 83rd on the west side of Stony and between 81st and 82nd again on the west side of Stony (the east side was out of bounds). The fort consisted of a hole in the ground, easy digging because of the sand used to fill in what was once swampland, with wood or branches over the top to form a roof. These were good places for drinking warm, stale beer and smoking Chesterfields. A few had tunnels between forts but we deemed this dangerous because of possible cave-ins.

---- ---- and I were Avalon School crossing guards on Stony Island Ave. at 82nd street while you were working at the Texaco station. In the winter we would come into the station to warm up.
Some of the things I remember from the Texaco station:
You draining the remaining drops of oil out of recently used oil cans to use for your own oil change. After a fill up, putting a few cents of gas into the old Plymouth at the gas station so you could tear around the driveway in it.

One day I saw you with a girl, who must have been Ingrid, in the Merc'. A few days later I saw you on 83rd again in the car. You pulled over to say hi and I asked you who was that blonde broad that you picked up.
Instead of giving me a knuckle sandwich you just peeled away from the curb leaving a long streak of rubber. When I told this story to ---- he said I don’t know how lucky I am just to be alive!
Well thanks again for the book maybe it will inspire me to write a family history for my kids and grandkids." 

A fellow southsider


"I feel honored that Curt has allowed me to share in the memories of his life, this all before I even read the book. Talking to Curt is like talking one of my lifelong buddies who I grew up with in the early fifties. Curt has a city boy personality that only another city boy can relate to....outgoing, straight forward when he talks with no gray area in between that is complimented by his street smart attitude. The book is a true gem that leads you in bringing back your own personal memories about your past while sharing in those personal memories of Curt's. Had I grown up in the same neighborhood with Curt I am sure we would have been lifelong buddies. After reading his book, I am sure we did."

John, California 


"I am amazed at your vivid memories of those things that happened decades ago. Did you keep a diary? I am enjoying the book and the unique "soundtrack' you provided. Very clever idea. You reminded me of so many things - the "rag man" coming down the alley, air raid drills, the coal pile in the basement and yadda yadda yadda.

Thrilled Southside Kid Book Reviewer"


"Everytime I want to visit the old neighborhood and I can't afford the money to fly or drive, I just read your book again. It really is a great adventure that never ends. Thank you for writing it! - Southside Kid Fan"


"Thanks Curt. By the way, after nearly finishing your book ( I'm on page 220) I feel like I've known you all my life. - Happy Book Reviewer"


"Hi Curt. Just wanted you to know that "The Southside Kid" has been to Florida on both coasts. I think I saw Luther at Cocoa Beach. I have not finished the book yet but I already recognize some people and places. I bought my first pack of smokes (Tarrytons) at Julies on 82nd and Father Cusack was a good friend of my parents. You may or may not know that Mother Audrey is alive and well at 93. - Southside Kid Book Reviewer"


"Dear Curt,

It was the most wonderful, surprising, amazing Friday the 13th ever!! I was lying on my bed when my husband came in and said, " I think the package you anxiously have been waiting for has arrived!"
I was like a child on Christmas morn.
I put aside the book, The Sea by John Banville and immediately opened Southside Kid. A chill went through me when the first name of the neighborhood, on page 4, was Hudnuts . I spent many hours at Roberta's home as she did mine.
Thank you for the wonderful autograph and message and the CD. I shall treasure them both. I'm sure I'll read and reread the book many times.
With happenings like this I can't help but to 'Keep Smilin' - Book Reviewer"


I just received your book and was so happy to open it and start reading it. I made the remark to my wife that there it is strange that I knew a man named Cash Erler when I was growing up. He sold us all our film and developed our pictures. Mom always sent me in to the store with the money to pick up our pictures and he was such a nice man to a little kid. I screamed out loud when I saw in your book that this nice man was your dad. – This makes me so proud, thinking of my Dad and the impression he left on so many.

I grew up at 8132 Avalon and went to school at Avalon Park School. I graduated in 1959 then went to Hirsch High School for a year and a half (about the same as myself) until my parents moved to Homewood. You are older than I am but I wonder if kids in your class used to come over to Avalon when you were off and tease us poor kids in public school because we had go to school a week longer in the summer than the catholic schools did. A lot of my friends went to St. Felicitas and St. Francis. Truthfully Stephen, this would not been my style. I never really was like that. I may have had a few fights in my day but down deep, I have always loved my fellow man...’still do! Oh, and I always LOVED the chicks too!

I live in Northern Kentucky near Cincinnati now. My first wanderings began in your area. Paducah, Covington and “Cincy” I have paged through your book prior to reading the whole thing and found something in it that I have said to all my friends in KY. They don’t understand what I mean when I say the best gift life gave me was the chance to grow up in a neighborhood with so many different ethnic groups whose parents still spoke their native language at home and kept their rich cultures alive. To this day, I have a keen interest and love of many cultures. As I traveled, I listened and learned so much from others. My friends here also don’t understand when I tell them that things were like they were supposed to be when I was growing up. Police and Firemen were Irish, Greeks ran the best restaurants. Chinese ran the laundries etc. Incredible coloration to those old days! And, as you can see from my writings in “Southside Kid”, I’ve never been so politically correct as not to use some of those ethnic descriptions such as my own = (“Kraut / Frog”) ‘Fact is, I never have and never will be politically correct!

I am almost 69 years old now and finding myself drawn to memories of childhood that only seems days ago. I will never be ashamed to tell folks that we truly did live a fantastic era and environment. I think your book will be very dear to me and I thank you for writing it. If you are ever bored and want to send an E-Mail to a fellow southsider I would love to hear from you.

Stephen, I have tell you this, “SS Kid” book has been one of the greatest blessing of my, rather long, life. I have heard from so many old friends, new friends and friends that I never dreamed of having. My dear Wife: “Kathy” never gets jealous when I hear from old girlfriends! I’ve heard from guys that I “beat up” & guys that “beat me up”! One morning as I sat in my car in the post office parking lot, I opened a four page letter and was shocked into tears...yep, “tears”! It was from my third & fourth grade Nun, “Sister Nila”. Can you imagine all these years later hearing from a third grade teacher...amazing to me. She remembered having me in her classes and said that I was a “very quite boy”. Well, St. Nila and I have been in touch ever since. She is in her nineties and sharp as ever. Sister has read all four of my books and has them available in the library at the Motherhouse in Monroe Michigan where she is the librarian.
We have spent the past two Christmas seasons up in Manitoba with our youngest Daughter; “Honey” and her wonderful family. She fell in love with a hockey player and now has a great family in Winnipeg. We have spent about a month each visit. Minus –22 degrees last Christmas and ‘'-33 degrees on New Year’s Eve! Honey teaches up there. Well, last year, while there, I called Sister Nila and introduced the “girls” on the phone. One of my biggest thrills ever was standing in Honey’s kitchen watching and listening to my two favorite “teachers’ chatting!

Well Stephen, I’ve gone on long enough. If you go to Facebook you can keep up with all that “goes on” with this busy “Southside Kid”. Here are a couple of other links which cover some of my activities; www.curterlerauthor.com & http://www.amazon.com/Curt-Erler/e/B002LFHNNE or simply Google >>> https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=curt%20erler%2C%20southside%20kid%2C%20heaven%20bound%2C%20mantilla%20lady%2C%20no%20hand%20to%20hold

Facebook pages are = https://www.facebook.com/curterler?fref=tl_fr_box&pnref=lhc.friends / https://www.facebook.com/groups/southsidecurt/ / https://www.facebook.com/groups/AvalonParkCurtErler/ / https://www.facebook.com/groups/559756294098208/

Keep Smilin’ and please have a “Merry, Merry Christmas”!

Your “new” - “old” friend,


Listen >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM14RltPu4s

"Southside Kid gives people who can relate to its era something to be proud of as well as a wonderful way to reminisce about their childhood through the eyes of a fellow Southsider. If you are not one of those lucky Southsiders, it will make you wish you were...I know I do

"I could not ask for a better gift than to have a father that has taken the time to write his life story for us and our future generations to enjoy.
I feel like I was there all along, traveling, working hard, not taking any bull, enjoying food & music...living LIFE! Thank you for showing me how I became who I am today! I love you!"

Honey Molinski, Honey Stetson - Photographer of California & Manitoba 


"Southside Kid Get's This Bristol Kid Dreamin'

Before I start my review I'd like to say I'm just under 30 years of age and live far away from Da Southside, in fact I'm right across the pond in dear ol' blighty - the North East of England! (Tho I was born and still am a Bristol Kid!)
The music I love and adore with all my heart is the music Curt shares with us in Southside Kid. I just about dig anything that came out on the Sun label. Rockabilly, Blues, R'n'R, R'n'B, Country, Jazz....Man just about anything that's got a beat, especially if it was recorded between the 40's and early 60's.
So I grew up in an era where these mighty tough sounds are hard to find on the radio, TV ect. I spend my life daydreaming about what it would've been like living in such a time.
Southside Kid has taken me to such places I have dreamt about, a time when the world and the folks had different values to the world today.
If you dig Baseball look no further, Curt might share with you a few secrets about pitchin'!
Personally I love the stories about the road trips, the jazz joints (Count Basie!) and traditional family values.
This is a heartwarming read, plenty of laughter(Curt's got great humor), and a very loving family.
If every household shared the same faith and love the world would be a better place.
It's truly a fascinating read, I felt many emotions whilst reading this book, "Southside Kid" will touch your soul.
Thanks Curt for being a real gentleman and sharing your wonderful memories with me. I now have a better understanding of that rockin' era!
My best wishes always
Your UK Buddy
"The Castleside Cat" Dave D. M. Knee 

P.S - Don't delay...buy Southside Kid today!"


"I wish that everyone could be reading the book at once and sharing the love and lust for life, that I have experienced in this read.

Kathy, Chicago"


"Curt, checked out your website...great job!! You truly are an amazing & talented guy! It's your "gift"! Keep up the good work. - Gary Groenenberg, Stor Mor Storage"


"Curt your book was excellent! I had it read within a day. Thanks for taking me with you through your wild adventures. Excellent work and I hope to read another soon by the great Southsider!

Bill Bryant, England :)"


Emailed Reviews from Amazon...

"When my Mum visited us recently, she picked up "Southside Kid" and I had a tough job getting it back!

So I would love to buy her a copy for Christmas. I'd love it to be autographed and inscribed "To Carol, Happy Holidays 2006" or something like that.
Y'know Curt, I've read a few books but yours IS THE COOLEST AND BEST! (Can't put it down...will let you know more when i've finished reading)
Keep on Rockin'"


"I loved the way you were brave enough to fight everybody! Fighting is so mental, in the sense you have to be brave."


"Long after you have finished this book, you will remember pieces and parts of 'the way it was'. It sticks with you because it is so real without ever being violent. It is an honest, straight-across-the-board rebirth of memories in detail of growing up after WWII into the '60's.

Lots of little things make this book great. The names and places on Southside Chicago live suddenly in rebirth. The items we bought, the prices we paid, the kind of clothes we wore, the language we talked--it's all there.
SOUTHSIDE KID is a new genre--part history, part biography, but all reality.
It's a fun book to read. It's a happy book about an unconfusing time in history in a very special place--the SOUTHSIDE OF CHICAGO. Every Chicagoan ought to read it--and maybe, even, write one of his or her own."


"While wrapped in the warmth of sweet childhood memories and exciting adventure as well, I could NOT put this book down. The author describes his wonderful, youthful years with such writing ability that I felt that I was there in the neighborhood, or experiencing the same emotions, and hearing and smelling and tasting the same things. I was lost in nostalgia while reading this book. Now, I wish that I had grown up in the 40's and 50's in middle class, Southside Chicago. There was never a boring moment in the Southside Kid's life ... OR IN THE BOOK!"


"Happiness exudes from your book--and--WHAT A MEMORY!!!"


"I am just amazed at your memory! And, I am being swept along with your life and all your brothers' lives-and sis' as well."


"The book brought great memories of my own childhood. Plus I had never been to Chicago, so I got a free tour of the Southside with The Kid! Good clean fun, something you can't find that easily anymore. A lot of books are filled with bull, but Southside Curt is the real deal! Enjoy this ride through the Southside with a good man, willing to share his life with you! It's a great book that I strongly recommend you treat yourself to. I think Luther is calling, got to run! Thanks Curt for writing this book, it was a pleasure to read! U Da Man!

Joe Hidalgo, Oakland, CA"


"WOW ! This book is a keeper. A real stroll down memory lane -love it .AAA+++"


"Got it today 12-30-06, thank you and happy new year... book is great"


"Great book, swift delivery! Thanks Curt !"


"Great book, very considerate seller, Thanks"


"We who were young people living through the 1950's didn't realize how lucky we were.
Curt Erler's book "Southside Kid" gives us a good taste of one side of the city. Chicago had many sides in those days but I loved reading about Curt's life on the Southside of Chicago.
Thank you Curt for turning back the clock to those golden days.
We are looking forward to reading your next book."


"Surely we all have dreamed of having that mythical time machine that would take us maybe to the future, but who wants to go there??? I'm going in reverse to those happy days of the fifties. I thought I remembered them but found many more in reading Southside Kid, the baseball games with little real quality equipment, who cared-or knew! The wonderful funky cars Curt describes especially the ones he owned, but wait!! don't listen to me, Curt is patiently waiting at the curb in his Merc', the door is open and you're invited - hang on tight! You're not going to believe it, hurry up cause I know he wants to hit the Blue Note tonight, Basie is in town.

Edward Newell"


"I just wanted to thank you for writing that book, and sharing your life with everybody. I personally, really enjoyed it. It brought back many memories of my childhood while I was reading it, and it is just a nice, fun book. I was bummed when it was over, I wanted more Southside. It was cool at the end where you updated your life and all that. It was just excellent! I shared that part at the end with my wife where you say: It is cool to look back, even though you don't live in the past, I want her to understand that, it is cool to look back sometimes."


"You know, couple your book with a retreat I just finished at the motherhouse, and life is beautiful! Doestoevsky once said: "One good memory is enough to save a man." Think of all the good memories your book evokes! Think of all the people you are saving--from sadness and depression and 'which way do I go now' stuff. You have done a fine thing, write on."


"An enjoyable read for everyone - especially for a southsider. The unfortunate folks that didn't have the pleasures of this era will soon realize some of what they missed.

Curt captured the reality of his many enjoyable moments, tragedies and love of life, in a wonderful period of time. For the older generation it will bring back memories that brought smile after smile to this old mug. For the younger generation - "eat your heart out" as you read about freedom, hard working ethics, friendship and true love of life.
In life, names and faces may change but Curt captures the fact that true friendship never gets old. He has experienced many of Americas dreams.
EVERYONE ENJOY, kudos does not say enough!

James E. Golden, Joliet, IL"


"The book was great Curt! I had to hide it from my staff as they were trying to read it while I was trying to finish it. Kudos to you Curt on your first book.

Dr. Pulitz, Laguna Beach, CA"



Your book is fab and I have only just started it. It reaches every age group as it sums up life as teen in a good family! I cannot wait for your next book! Keep up those creative juices and we will talk soon :)

Autumn, United States"


"First of all, what this is not. It is not a weepy, sniffling ‘good old days’ lament. Nor is it a ‘things were much better back then’ dirge. It is an extraordinarily detailed day-by-day account of a boy growing into manhood on Chicago's Southside. All the joy, nonsense and tomfoolery of adolescence are here, and so are the pain, tears, dejection and heartbreak. These emotions are universal to all teenagers, whether they were part of a middle-class clan, dirt-poor, or filthy rich.

The reader is left marveling at Erler's resilience in the face of the adversity and misery he brought on himself, as teenagers will. But he always bounced back, and each bounce brought him higher and higher.
This ‘Southside Kid’ is now a retired successful business man, with a happy marriage and a loving family.

‘Southside Kid’ will take you on a fascinating journey through the days of wars, snack foods, automobiles, sports, race relations, and the birth of rock n' roll. Music always played a big part in Erler's life, and he provides an unparalleled written soundtrack that is bound to provoke happy memories.

There is much here for readers of all ages. More than a memoir, this is a portrait of real life in America. Write on, Curt! Let's hear the rest of the story.

Peter A. Grendysa" (fellow author)


”Well, I read your book and enjoyed it. It was definitely very factual and certainly brought back many fine memories. You forgot to mention the other favorite candy store in the neighborhood, that was the Little Dell, across Stony Island from your house. You see, there will be nobody who reads your book, that will be able to relate the way I do. Your dad even bandaged my hand once, when you and Noble cut it while playing with one of your go-carts. Say Hi to the family for me.” Bernie R.

“Hello Curt, I loved your story about Roy Hamilton. He holds a place of pride in our home. Here in the backwoods of Tasmania my husband and I think he is the most under acknowledged recording artist of the last 60 years. We both envy you your experience in meeting him,talking to him, and seeing him perform live. We also understand your mixed feelings ref: the cufflinks. We believe we would have done the same thing and had the same regrets. But you did right.
Bye for now,

Sandra in Tasmania"


AND ... Some random Facebook comments on: "Southside Kid" ...

"I think I would enjoy this book very much..."

"ChiTown Joe likes it too..."

"It's on my to-read list!"

"Awesome! I can't wait to read it!"

"As a south(east) sider and the same age as Curt.I loved this book!!
Reading it was like sitting down with a lifelong friend and looking back on our growing up in a simpler and easier time,
the fun times and those that challenged us but also made us strong. Thanks Curt, for the memories."

"I have to get that ,becos it,s a book about us "CHICAGO"...

"This is a great book..."

"Love this being a South Side Kid from the 70's..."

"Good book-I have read it!"